Chocolate lovers and chile heads – the affectionate name for people who love chiles – will find pleasure in this decadent chocolate truffle that bears a subtle heat from ancho chile combined with smoky chipotle pepper. I suspect that there are a lot of us that share a passion for both chocolate and heat whose eyes grow wide when our lips meet a chocolate treat with a little zip, right? You/we are in luck with this recipe from the great pepper cookbook – the ultimate guide to choosing and cooking with peppers.
My first taste of these chile chocolate truffles was at a spicy luncheon at Melissa’s Produce to launch the new cookbook. Food blogging comes with a lot of perks, one is being a part of a community that loves food and another is working with companies and brands that share your passion for whatever your niche may be. In case you’re new to She’s Cookin’, mine is developing healthy, low sodium recipes that taste great and are made with whole foods using an arsenal of not so secret ingredients to enhance flavor instead of salt. Melissa’s and I share a passion for fruits and vegetables, just on a different scale, and Robert Schueller is the indefatigable produce guru that is our go-to guy at Melissa’s.
We also have a lot of fun and have the good fortunate to eat a lot of delicious food! Every dish prepared by Melissa’s corporate chefs had a chile pepper component – from the jalapeño spiked lemonade to the party nuts, egg salad, chile spiced carrots, Albondigas soup, Pollo en Crema, to the dessert finale of these little balls of chile chocolate goodness.
Robert’s vast knowledge of about peppers is integrated into the great pepper cookbook which, in addition to delicious recipes, charts and notes are included to guide you through the Scoville heat units scale, so you’ll know just how hot the pepper is before it reaches your tongue. As the largest global distributor of fresh and dried peppers, Melissa’s is equipped to share information about more than 30 types of peppers and chile peppers, ranging from sweet bell peppers to blistering bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) peppers, and for the fearless, the Scorpion chile pepper, considered one of the hottest peppers on Earth.
Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue! Bible cookbook series and host of Primal Grill®, lends cred with his quote, “The Great Pepper Cookbook” is a must-have for any serious culinary hothead.”
For me, chiles are one of the ways I add complexity and flavor (not always heat) to low sodium dishes and I’m looking to expand my repertoire. As James Beard Award-winning chef and author Zarela Martinez says, “The Great Pepper Cookbook will open a new culinary world for you.” Whether you’re new to exploring chiles and peppers or a seasoned chile head, you’ll appreciate that the book includes varieties from the mild to the wicked hot and everything in between, plus dozens of tips, shortcuts, techniques, and heat guides.
Jalapeños are readily available, so you might want to start with these easy Glazed Chile-Spiced Baby Carrots for a healthy side dish. But let’s skip right to dessert today with the recipe for those Chile-Chocolate Mole Truffles!
- 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds toasted
- 2 tablespoons seedless raisins minced
- 5 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 ounce about a 1x2 inch piece dried ancho chile pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and finely crushed
In a metal bowl, combine chocolate chips, sesame seeds, and raisins. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat; stir in ancho chile, chipotle chile powder, cinnamon, and zest. Bring just to a simmer; immediately remove from heat.
Remove and discard ancho; pour cream mixture over chocolate chip mixture, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is completely blended. Let cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate unit firm, about 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a plate, spread walnuts in an even layer. Using a 1/2-teaspoon measure spoon scoop out cooled chocolate mixture and form into a 1-inch ball, roll in crushed walnuts, and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture to form 36 truffles. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, or up to 5 days.
If the chocolate mixture starts sticking, rinse your hands in cold water and/or return the chocolate mixture to the refrigerator to rechill.
*Recipe from The Great Pepper Cookbook by Melissa's Produce, published by Oxmoor House.